Landscapes and more

Russian Village (Northern Village), Polenov – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Russian Village (Northern Village) – Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov. 1889. Oil on canvas, 89 x 142
In 1889, the world saw a new work by Vasily Polenov, “Russian Village”. The compositional construction, the color scheme, and most importantly, the lyricism and intimacy of this picture, immediately reminded the viewer of the other work of the painter, now more famous – “Moscow Courtyard”, written 11 years before. The artist in the new picture skillfully and very naturally poetized the Russian village, creating a sweet-hearted image, simple and recognizable to everyone.

As always, the painter carefully thought out everything, and the viewer’s eye moves exactly along the route set by the talented hand of the master: a narrow wooden bridge over a small river, as if giving us direction, and we gradually plunge into the depths of this simple, sweet village pastoral.

The viewer enjoys a view of a small village consisting of several courtyards. Or maybe it’s just the edge of the village or a single farm. Each courtyard is marked by a traditional Russian log hut, composed of long massive logs that have long been darkened by rain and time. Winding between the houses, the gaze snatches up agricultural buildings covered with a thatched roof. Polenov did not forget to grasp all the smallest details – and neat chimneys, and window frames, and carved decorations on the gables of village houses.

Looking at the landscape, you gradually begin to realize that life in this modest village is bubbling: the child is standing by the rivulet water, chickens are walking on the shore, a bird is sitting on the crooked wattle, or a crow, or a magpie, and even beds speak of efficient working hands . Fine paths trampled down to yellow sand, leading directly to the white shore and the bridge, also highlight the bustling village life. Children in the picture – both the boy playing with the boat and the guys on the slope play a somewhat staffing function, but without these heroes the image of the village would be incomplete.

Clouds in the sky were filigree in a filigree manner – this is some whimsical white lace woven on a perfectly even blue background through which a soft diffused light pours.

Looking closer at the hand of the master, that is, the style of writing, it can be noted that it is not homogeneous. The fine details of the painting were painted with great care, while the paths and green grass are filled with wide strokes, freely, somewhere in a sketch.

The picture is full-color and rich: the saturated green color of the grass, the blue sky, the bright yellow sandbank and paths, the gray houses – and all this is flooded with calm sunlight. An attentive viewer will note that the foreground of the picture is still rich in shades and subtle nuances: in the water you can see glimpses of lilac and pink.

The mood-setting component of this picture is striking – pacification, peace and grace. Polenov, like no one else, could fill his landscapes with an extraordinary aching sense of joy – this is the happiness of a person’s being, his existence in the world around him. His most significant achievements in this area are connected with the image of Russian open spaces, and the painting “Russian Village” is a simple and eloquent confirmation of this."

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